Wayne Pfluger is the president of Lone Star Forestry, a consulting forestry firm based out of East Texas. The company provides a variety of services to forest landowners from creating management plans to advising on carbon sequestration. Wayne has been a forester for more than 30 years since graduating from the school of forestry at Texas A&M University.
Alex Macintosh, Director of the US Origination team at NCX, had the chance to sit down with Wayne to learn more about his career as a forester and why he chose to work with NCX.
Alex: “Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us today, Wayne. To start, I would love to learn more about how you got into the forestry profession.”
Wayne: “I grew up with a farming background, and the farm was too close to a city, and the city took it over. My grandpa asked me what I was going to do when I went off to college and I said, “I’m going to get my ag eco degree.” I took a couple forestry classes and really fell in love with it. Yeah, just FYI, Pfluger in German is plowman, so we’re farmers. It really is, our little coat of arms has a plow, so we’re plowmen. I look at myself as I’m probably a 20th generation farmer in a sense, so I tell folks I’m still farming, we’re farming trees.”
Alex: “That’s a really neat connection with your family legacy. It’s clear from the conversations we’ve shared in the past that you are passionate about what you do. I’d love to explore that further. Can you talk a bit about why you love being a forester?”
Wayne: “There’s just something innately profound, almost religious about the forest. I mean that’s why I loved working in the woods, there’s just something, a real aspect out there…To me it’s a religious experience, to be able to be out in God’s creation.”
Alex: “Thanks for sharing that Wayne. I’d also love to hear more about what is different or unique about the consulting services your team provides?”
Wayne: “I tell everyone ‘Lone Star Forestry’ [it’s] here on my shirt, on the side of our building, but it’s almost a misnomer, we’re really Lone Star Land Management Services. In other words, I look at folks’ property, they may call me up to say, “Hey, you know Wayne, I’ve got some timber out here, I want to make the most of it, you need to help me. Tell me when to sell, what to sell, and how to reinvest and replant.” I’ll go, “Wait a minute, wait a minute. First of all you tell me what you really want to see, is this purely an investment? Do you want to grow trees to the best of our ability? Is this recreationally important out there? Is aesthetics important? What are your goals and objectives?”
Alex: “As we have talked about many times, the role of consultants is absolutely critical as opportunities like the NCX forest carbon program become available to landowners. You are the trusted expert for your clients in helping achieve their management objectives. Given this, why did you decide to work with NCX?”
Wayne: “The NCX program is viable and it’s good forest management, it allows you to continue managing your forest in a proper way and participate in a carbon sequestration program. I do have a couple of rather savvy landowners that looked into the Chicago Climate Exchange, have kept their pulse on what’s going on out in California and maybe up into the northeast, and then the NCX program came along and we all said, “Finally somebody figured out how this should run.”
“I like y’all’s concept and the fact that it’s year to year. Overall you’re moving the needle. My clients are actively managing their properties and the fact that we can incorporate this program into our management plan where we are doing harvest, we are doing thinnings, and we’re doing plantings, and it all works well together. I think the NCX program melds real well with active management.”
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